spectacular mishap in which a $424 million NASA research satellite was lost in
the Pacific has caused the launch of a military satellite from the Kodiak
Launch Complex to be delayed for several months.
Air Force had initially announced it would launch a Minotaur IV rocket in May.
But now an Air Force spokesman says the launch won't be until mid-summer or
early fall. The spokesman asked not to be named.
of the delay can be traced to a malfunction of a similar rocket last month. An
apparent malfunction of a launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California destroyed NASA's
Glory mission, a climate research satellite that had been mounted on a Taurus
Now reported last week that the Glory mission had failed to separate properly
in mid-flight and the payload was lost in the Pacific
While of a
different design, the Taurus XL shares some of the same components as the
Minotaur IV causing the Air Force to ground the mission as a precaution.
Minotaur IV is based on the Peacemaker ICBM missile and is the same type of
rocket that successfully launched from Kodiak's Narrow Cape
Force says the "exact nature of the problem" that occurred is still unknown and
it's still awaiting the facts before committing to a launch date in Kodiak.
Force added that the military satellite is the only mission currently booked
for the Kodiak Launch Complex which is owned by the state-owned Alaska